Feature: WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

Feature: WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

Feature: WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

We recently asked the recruiters who visit the WEDDLE’s Web-site to tell us how many times per month, on average, they post jobs on a job board or career portal. Here’s what they told us:

  • 32.2% post jobs 1-4 times per month, on average;
  • 16.2% post jobs 5-8 times per month, on average;
  • 32.3% posted jobs 9 or more times per month, on average; and
  • 19.2%-fewer than 1-out-of-5-normally posted no jobs during a month.
  • What the Findings Mean

    Jobs are being posted online all of the time. In fact, according to the Conference Board, around 2 million new openings are posted online every month. If you check your favorite employment site once a week, you’re likely to miss some. If you check it once a month, you’ll probably miss a lot of them.

    What should you do? Use job agents. These handy features are available at about 40% of all job boards, and they’re absolutely free. Some sites describe them as “jobs by e-mail.” Others actually give them a name. At Monster.com, for example, they’re called My Monster; and if you sign up for the job agent at NationJob.com, they call it P.J. Scout (for Personal Job Scout) accompanied by a portrait of a grizzled scout from the old west.

    Job agents are easy to use. You tell the agent what kind of job you want, and it compares your specification to each job posted at the site and notifies you privately when it finds a match. It doesn’t get any better than that. The agent does all of the work, it protects your confidentiality, and it’s free. That’s why I think everyone-those in transition and those who are currently employed-should have several job agents working for them all of the time.

    In fact, I recommend that you use five job agents:

  • Two at general purpose job boards-those that post jobs in all career fields, industries and locations; and
  • Three at niche sites, including one each that specializes in your career field, your industry, and your location (or where you want to live).
  • This combination will give you the best possible visibility into the full range and depth of employment opportunities available on the Internet.

    Bottom line: Job agents are an effective way to make sure you don’t miss out on your dream job when it’s posted online. A word of caution is in order, however. The technology behind job agents isn’t perfect, so they won’t always deliver exactly the jobs you want. You’ll get openings for sushi chefs and truck drivers when you want a dream job for a salesperson. That’s a small price to pay, however, for such a helpful service.

    Final note: Since 1996, WEDDLE’s has been surveying both job seekers and recruiters on the Web. We’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of data elements probing:

  • what they do and what they don’t do,
  • what they like and what they don’t like,
  • and most importantly,

  • what they think works best.
  • To add your insights and opinions to our research, please visit the Polling Station at the WEDDLE’s Web-site.

    Section Two: Insights From In-Sites

    Peter Weddle has been writing columns for his own newsletter and for the Interactive Edition of The Wall Street Journal since 1999. The following column has been drawn from that work and updated for 2006. You can also find many of Peter’s tips and techniques in our book WEDDLE’s WizNotes: Finding a Job on the Web.

    The New Way to Network

    The job market is a mess. There are opportunities available, but they come and go at warp speed. On top of that, employers are drowning in resumes, the sheer volume of which makes it very hard for anyone to stand out. Nevertheless, many of us are apparently in or about to launch an active job search. In fact, according to one survey by the Society for Human Resource Management and CareerJournal.com from The Wall Street Journal, 83% of the workforce is hunting for a new or better job or planning to do so.

    And there’s the rub. Whether you’re looking right now or intend to in the future, the time it will take to find that new job is increasing, sometimes to as much as double what it took just two years ago. So, what should you do?

    Career counselors generally agree that the best strategy for finding a job is networking. It is the most effective way to tap into the “hidden market” of great opportunities that normally get filled by someone who knows someone else who meets a person who would be just perfect for an open position. Networking can’t do it alone-it should be integrated into a multi-dimensional strategy of checking recruitment ads, research, and other time-tested techniques-but it can give you an edge in finding some of the best openings that most people have never heard about.

    The only downside to networking is that it’s time consuming and often inconvenient. You have to travel to an office or a meeting place somewhere to connect with potential contacts, and then you have to invest the time to get to know them one-on-one. As a consequence, the return on your networking is limited because you’re human and need to sleep a couple of hours each day.

    Now, however, you can expand your networking and, in the process, improve your access to the hidden job market. How? By using the Internet to do electronic networking every day … not to the exclusion of traditional face-to-face networking, but in addition to it. Here’s how it works:

    First, electronic networking occurs via e-mail. You meet and interact with others (your potential contacts) via online discussions forums and bulletin boards. Where can you find these virtual meeting places? Try the sites operated by your professional association, trade organization and college or university alumni group. For a good listing of association and trade group sites, see WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites; for a good listing of college and university sites, see the University Directory at Google.com.

    Second, the Golden Rule of Networking applies as much online as it does in the real world. Networking works because it’s based on people helping each other out. So, the Golden Rule is simple but very important: You have to give as good as you get. Don’t just stand around at those discussion forums and bulletin boards and watch everyone else interact; add to the conversation. Share your knowledge and experience with others so that they will be inclined to share theirs with you.

    Third, electronic networking is a contact sport. Traditional networking is based on “who you know.” If you know the right person, you can find your dream job. Electronic networking, on the other hand, is an exercise in “who knows you.” The goal is to increase the number of people who know you and have benefited from that interaction. That virtual circle of contacts, in turn, expands your access to great employment opportunities, especially those that you probably would never otherwise have even known about.

    Fourth, networking is netWORK, not netRELAX. In other words, the key to success in networking is regular activity so that the other participants in the discussion forum or bulletin board become familiar and comfortable with you. Devote a half hour twice a week to contributing to the conversation. That level of activity won’t keep you from doing all of the other things a job search requires, but it will give you enough visibility to be recognized and accepted by the group. And, best of all, you can do your electronic networking from home while you’re wearing your fuzzy slippers and having a glass of wine.

    Fifth, pay attention to the culture of the group. Each discussion forum and bulletin board has its own culture which governs such issues as how disagreements are handled, the kind of language that is acceptable and other norms of behavior. To make sure that you don’t inadvertently violate these unwritten rules, spend some time observing the conversation before you join in. Then, start slowly and increase your involvement gradually so that the others have a chance to get to know you and grow comfortable with your point of view.

    There is no one sure way to find a new or better job. Over the years, however, networking has consistently yielded the best return (in terms of the quality and the quantity of opportunities it uncovers) from your investment of time and effort. Thanks to the Internet and the technique of electronic networking, you can enhance its benefit even more and, in the process, ensure that you are in charge of any change in your employment situation … rather than its victim.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Remember what you learned in kindergarten: It’s nice to share. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!

    Section 3: News You Can Use

    Killian & Company Advertising hosts an area on its Web-site entitled “Cover Letters from Hell.” It should be required reading for anyone who is currently looking for a job or expects to at any future point in their career. What’s there? Actual cover letters that the company has received from job candidates. These communications, however, are so poorly conceived and written that they absolutely guarantee their authors will never hear from a recruiter. For example:

  • “I also want to obtain a deeper understanding of how Advertising firms.”
  • “I also have a degree English which serves me well in editing text for poor grammer or typos.”
  • “I expect the position to pay commissary to that of its value, as well as to the performance completed.”
  • Your cover letter is often the communication that makes your first impression with an employer; take the time and devote the effort to ensure it’s a good one. As a minimum, proofread what you write carefully, edit it closely, and ask a friend or colleague to critique its syntax and clarity … and then make all of the corrections necessary before you send of your cover letter.

    Want to be able to use WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet and not have to buy it yourself? Well, you can. All you have to do is ask the librarian in your local library to order it. The American Staffing Association has called WEDDLE’s Guide, “the Zagat of the online employment industry.” It provides detailed profiles on 350 of the best job boards and career portals on the Internet. Not only can it help you identify the sites that are most appropriate for you, but it will give you the information you need to select those that will best ensure your success. So, don’t delay. Call:

  • your public library,
  • your college or university library, and/or
  • your college placement center.
  • Ask them to get all of WEDDLE’s 2007/8 reference books right away! They are:

  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Directory of Employment-Related Internet Sites
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites.
  • Yahoo! HotJobs released the results of a survey that examined recruiters’ and employees’ views of appropriate candidate dress for interviews. The poll was a joint project with clothier Banana Republic. It found that:

  • business casual is increasingly the norm among at least some employers. In fact, 25% of the responding recruiters actually said that wearing a business suit to an interview at their company would be viewed as being “too formal.”
  • When dressing in business casual, the emphasis should be on business. It’s still important to look neat and professional in a job interview. Among the employees who participated in the survey, 56% said that dress is important enough in their employers to affect workplace perceptions and performance reviews.
  • Dress for the job you want. Notwithstanding the notion that casual seems “too formal” for some workplace interviews, the key to success is to dress in a way that’s appropriate for both the culture of the company where you’re interviewing and the nature of the position you seek. Many still expect their employees-and, therefore, those who interview-to wear more traditional apparel. How do you know which way you should dress for an interview? Ask the recruiter with whom you’re in contact or anyone you know who works in the organization.
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